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Why Does My Head Hurt After Sex?

In most cases, headaches that occur during sexual activity are harmless. However, if the headache begins suddenly or is severe, seek medical advice immediately.

Your healthcare provider will perform tests to rule out serious conditions and recommend a treatment plan. This could include daily meds that prevent these headaches in the future.

Severe Headaches

Right before or during an orgasm, a throbbing pain erupts in your head. It feels like someone hit you in the back of your head with a cricket bat or baseball, but it’s actually a common and harmless headache known as a sex headache or pre-orgasmic headache. Unlike the headaches that can accompany migraines, these aren’t caused by an underlying condition and usually disappear after the sexual experience.

It’s thought that sex headaches occur due to a blood vessel contraction, changes in brain pressure, and/or an increase in heart rate. Men and those who have a history of migraines are more prone to having them. They tend to come in clusters and last about three days before they go away.

It’s important to see a doctor if you have a sex headache because they may be a sign of an underlying health issue such as an intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain), arteriovenous malformation, or an uncontrolled high blood pressure. A neurologist can examine you and run tests to determine what’s causing them and prescribe a course of treatment. Treatment options include over-the-counter pain relievers, sedatives, or beta blockers such as metoprolol or propranolol that are available by prescription. The pain-relieving medication triptan has been shown to shorten severe sex headache attacks in about 50% of people who try it.

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Dull Headaches

When a dull headache comes on during sex, it is most likely due to a buildup of tension in the neck and head muscles. The pain may last for a couple of minutes or linger for hours. Usually, this type of headache is benign and does not need to be treated. However, if it occurs repeatedly or becomes more severe, you should seek medical attention.

In rare cases, a headache may be a sign of a more serious health problem such as brain hemorrhage. If you experience a severe, thunderclap headache during orgasm, seek emergency medical help immediately. The doctor will order a CT scan or an MRI to rule out any serious health problems.

If you get a throbbing, dull headache during orgasm, it might be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. Your doctor will order a blood test and do a physical exam to check for any health problems. You will be asked about your family history of headaches and if you have migraines or other chronic conditions.

If you are prone to sex headaches, try to take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like ibuprofen, about 30 minutes before sexual activity. This will help to prevent the onset of the headache. Your doctor may also prescribe a beta-blocker such as propranolol, metoprolol, or nadolol to help lower your blood pressure.

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Headaches After Sex

In some cases, sex can actually cause a headache. Sex-related headaches, also known as orgasm headaches, happen moments before and/or at the peak of sexual excitement (the orgasm). These headaches may be caused by clenching of the neck and jaw muscles or they could be a type of exertional headache, similar to those that occur with exercise. The pain of these headaches is intense and sudden and usually lasts for about 15 minutes or less. These headaches are not as common as other types of headaches, but they do occur. Most people describe the pain as being located in their head, neck and jaw. Fortunately, these headaches are not serious and do not indicate an underlying health problem.

There are two main types of sex headaches: a pre-orgasmic headache and an orgasm headache. The first type begins when sexual activity starts and then gradually gets worse. It is sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain or nausea. A sex headache from this type of activity typically lasts for 30 to 60 minutes and is not as severe as the orgasm headache.

Men are four times more likely to get sex headaches than women and those with a history of migraines are also at risk. If the headaches are very severe or last a long time, you should speak to your doctor immediately. You might be given a medication to prevent the headaches. These medications are very effective, but you will need to take them daily for 3-6 months to see results.

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Migraines

Headaches after sex are sometimes a symptom of an underlying health problem. If you’re suffering from a condition that leads to these headaches, it may be important for your doctor to find ways to treat them. This treatment might include medication or other non-invasive procedures.

There are two main types of sex headache: sexual benign or pre-orgasmic headaches and orgasm headaches. The former occurs before orgasm and is a result of increasing blood pressure in the body, which causes the blood vessels in the brain to expand rapidly. This can cause a crushing headache. The latter occurs as you reach orgasm and is a sudden pain that usually affects the neck, head, and jaw.

Although these headaches are generally not harmful, you should see a doctor if they are severe or last for long periods of time. They can be a sign of some serious conditions, including a brain hemorrhage.

There are many medications that can relieve sex headaches. Indomethacin, a common anti-inflammatory, can ease throbbing pain. You can also take a beta blocker such as propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL) or metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL) to lower your blood pressure and help with the headache. If you’re prone to migraines, taking a calcium channel blocker like verapamil hydrochloride (Calan SR) can prevent or reduce the frequency of your migraines.